Sunday, August 16, 2020

Talk-N-Shop-A-Mania (August 1st, 2020)

Talk-N-Shop-A-Mania didn't live up to the hype.

Two weeks of waiting for that particular piece of business... but here's the rest of it.

It is not the worst PPV I've ever seen because I have seen Heroes Of Wrestling. I have endured numerous bad PPVs that made my brain hurt. And this never reached those points of giving me an aneurysm, depriving me of my will to live, or feel like an extended stay at a local medical facility. Instead, I had a great time. And I was sober. This distressed me because I was promised the worst PPV ever and they didn't deliver. I should probably ask for a refund, but I won't because Gallows needs every cent he can get.

That having been said, there's a quote in an old episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation by Captain Jean-Luc Picard that is a perfect summation of this entire show: "Sometimes, you just have to bow to the absurd."

That's this show in a nutshell.

Right out of the gate, you already know what you're going to get out of this show; a bunch of stupid bullshit. Briefcase On A Tree, Boner Yard matches, that sort of thing. The whole show is basically a mockery of all the stupid shit that takes place in wrestling and it's all done with a wink and a nod to the absurdity of the sport. And for the purist out there who insists their wrestling be always serious and portrayed as realistic as possible, you're obvious not getting that here. They've said as much. This is bullshit for the sake of bullshit and they accomplished that, resulting in a very entertaining show that had (sober) me in stitches. This was a fun show.

All the people they brought in - familiar names like Teddy Long, D'Lo Brown, Chavo Guerrero, Brian Myers, Rhino, Heath (Not) Slater, Freight Train, Nature Boy Paul Lee (endorsed by Ric Flair, for whatever that's worth), Mike Bennett, nZo, THE FUCKING ROCK 'N ROLL EXPRESS... even former WCW announcer David Penzer shows up because he needs affirmation that Sturgis isn't the worst place he worked in.

So why is this cornball stuff good but the cornball stuff elsewhere isn't?

With regards to WWE, when they try to do comedy for the sake of comedy, it's not funny. It's no secret that more often than not, WWE programming is catered to one individual alone and that individual has a particular taste when it comes to presentation, especially in regards to the comedy. And the comedy, more often than not, feels forced and unnatural. And when this happens in terms of pushing what is generally a "more serious" product, it comes off as sad and lame more than it does funny and it generally hurts the perception of the product, which is done without much care or ability to "read the room."

In contrast, I want to bring up another example of a WWE show that was fun for the right reasons and that's a short-lived reality show called Legends House. One of the first shows for the WWE Network featured eight legendary WWE names from Roddy Piper to Tony Atlas to Gene Okerlund living together in a house and performing some games and activities much like a game show or something. It remains one of - if not THE best - non-wrestling shows on the Network because it is a perfect total package. Seeing the legends interact with each other outside the wrestling bubble has resulted in some somber moments that reveal the humans behind the performers, but there are some genuinely funny moments and pairings that got actual laughs. It's genuine, it's endearing, and it's a good watch even after all these years.

Now Talk-N-Shop-A-Mania doesn't try to be a good show. They're not trying to put on anything that would be considered decent. They're not trying to be a technical spectacle or anything like that. And any wrestling purist who wants their wrestling to be serious will probably have an aneurysm. However, what the show does is present something that was done as a labor of love - somewhat of a cliche, but it's true in this case. The boys wanted to showcase their own brand of creativity and humor within the ninety-minute runtime and while the concept might not appeal to anyone, at the very least it does feel like something they would put together and there is a bit of a fun vibe to it.

Let me get one thing straight: I DO NOT WANT THIS TO BE A REGULAR THING THAT GETS BEATEN TO THE GROUND. I don't need monthly events of this ilk because eventually it stops being special, it overstays its welcome, and perhaps worst of all, it might actually be worse than before and not necessarily in the context that was intended. WWE has hammered the "cinematic" style to the ground and nothing - NOTHING - has been able to

To anyone who gives a shit about results...

Chico El Luchador won the Social Distancing Battle Royal to win the prestigious Talk ‘N Shop A-Mania 24/7 Championship... which, in all fairness, is a pretty sweet looking belt. Probably better than the hubcap title that R-Truth has in WWE.

They then had a Contract On A Tree match between Nature Boy Paul Lee and Frankie Coverdale, which was a total farce that went so long we had other matches take place along the way. Who won the match? Who gives a fuck?

There was a hardcore match between George North vs. Stump Kowalski that was eventually thrown out because it sucked so much. Amen, brother.

The 80’s Russians defeated The Jungle Kittens. Then the Flock... yes, the FLOCK (Sick Boy, Lodi, and Ron Reis as the Yeti... and nobody bothered to say YEH-TAY) came out to beat up the two jabroni teams. Then D’Lo Brown came out to get his shit in. Rhino came out and hit a gore, followed by Brian Pillman Jr coming out and running wild among all madness. Cold Stone Willie Mack came out and hit stunners on The Jungle Kittens and The 80’s Russians. Chavo Guerrero hit the ring and hit the Three Amigos on one of the Jungle Kittens. Karl Anderson handed beers to Willie Mack and Chavo Guerrero, who celebrated together until Mack hit Guerrero with the Stunner.

Swoggle Ryder (w/Brian Myers) defeated Rory Fox. This is a grudge match of sorts because Rory hates Zack but he couldn't be here so we got Swoggle and Rory has a huge thing in his pants and he was depants and he ran away... why am I explaining this to you?

Chavo Guerrero tried to kill Chico El Luchador with weight bars and locked saunas before eventually rolling the guy up to win the title... and then and locked him in the sauna, however Chico managed to escape and brawled in the gym with Chavo, who was then assaulted by Chad 2 Badd and pinned to lose the title to that other fucking loser.

nZo came out for a promo... sure, why not?

Chad 2 Badd defeated Sex Ferguson in a Boner Yard match; basically a total parody of the Boneyard match from Wrestlemania that they played a part in. And let's be honest here: this is sold as a total farce and it delivered. It parodied the layout of the Mania main event that didn't suck and included a lot of the same beats, there were some cameos from former WCW guy Air Paris, the Rock N Roll Express, and even the Young Bucks appear in a flashback sequence, the interaction was crass and lewd yet believable. I got a couple laughs out of this and for what it's worth, this was definitely one of the top main events in my book... I should probably keep that last part quiet; Karl and Doc might disappointed by that assessment.

Again, this isn't the sort of thing I want on a regular basis... but as an occasional thing for the cheaps, I'd be fine with it.

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